Take That and party

Warwickshire Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE -

MORE OF THAT sets out on the Gold Cup trail at Carlisle and should take the beat­ing in the Colin Parker Memorial In­ter­me­di­ate Chase.

This race is de­vel­op­ing a fine tra­di­tion and has again at­tracted a small but se­lect field, some 12 months on from the highly-rated Saphir Du Rheu ac­count­ing for The Young Mas­ter. The se­lec­tion might not be the most ro­bust of an­i­mals, but his abil­ity is not in doubt and there are very few miles on the clock for an eight-year-old.

Jonjo O’Neill’s charge is, in fact, the only horse to beat the mighty An­nie Power in com­pleted starts, when spring­ing what at the time was a sur­prise in the World Hur­dle at Chel­tenham in 2014. He re­turned at New­bury later in the year but was beaten and sub­se­quently off for a year un­til mak­ing his chas­ing bow, tak­ing to the big­ger fences with aplomb in two wins at Chel­tenham, be­fore fin­ish­ing third in the RSA Chase.

That is high-class form and while O’Neill is bound to have left some­thing to work on with a big cam­paign ahead, it will be dis­ap­point­ing if he does not go very close to mak­ing a win­ning start. O’Neill, owner JP McManus and rider Barry Ger­aghty have ev­ery chance of a dou­ble cour­tesy of In The Rough, who looks cer­tain to rel­ish ev­ery yard of the Cum­ber­land Hand­i­cap Chase.

The seven-year-old has taken a while to get the hang of the big­ger ob­sta­cles but showed a good at­ti­tude in do­ing so last time out over three miles and this ex­tra two fur­longs a bit can only work in his favour.

Definitly Red held an en­try in the Colin Parker but Brian El­li­son, who is in red-hot form at the mo­ment, has opted to start him off in the Coach & Horses Hand­i­cap Hur­dle.

He is rated a cou­ple of pounds lower over hur­dles and this looks a nice prize to win on the way to bet­ter things back over fences. The two-anda-half-mile trip looks per­fect.

Dan Skel­ton has his string in tip-top form and looks likely to add to his tally at Hunt­ing­don with Late Night Lily. A use­ful bumper per­former be­fore hav­ing her at­ten­tions switched to the jump­ing game, the daugh­ter of Mid­night Leg­end shaped with prom­ise on two of her first three starts be­fore open­ing her ac­count at this venue in April.

She was backed as though de­feat was out of the ques­tion on her re­turn from a break at Mar­ket Rasen last month and duly obliged, look­ing likely to score eas­ily be­fore tir­ing af­ter the fi­nal flight.

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